In the Courts: Expert Reports Sufficient to Establish Merit of Claim, Court Holds
June 17, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
The first district of the Court of Appeals of Texas has found that expert opinion reports describing the standard of care that should have been provided to a resident with disabilities and making a causal connection between the alleged substandard care and the resident's death, as submitted by a plaintiff in litigation, were sufficient to allow the trial court to conclude that the claim had merit. The expert reports were submitted in accordance with state law requiring plaintiffs to submit expert reports early in the litigation process to establish the potential merit of their claims and deter frivolous lawsuits.
The case involved a nursing home resident who had previously lived in a group home for people with disabilities. Before his admission to the defendant nursing home, he was hospitalized after having been found wandering in the streets. On admission to the nursing home, he had schizophrenia, seizures, and an impaired level of consciousness, and he tended to wander. He was also...